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CA Green Stickers and Bridges - No Reduction

Discussion in 'Gen 1 Prius Plug-in 2012-2015' started by bilofsky, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. bilofsky

    bilofsky Privolting Member

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    I thought I was always a carpool, but come to find out, green stickers are not good for carpool tolls on bridges. This from CalTrans via email:
    How does the Express Lane know you have a green sticker?
     
  2. tarantoga

    tarantoga Junior Member

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    So when I use the car pool lane on a bridge using Fastrak - how does the system know that the green-sticker-PIP is not a regular carpool and charge the non-discounted fee?

    It doesn't - just hide your Fastrak transponder as you would as a regular car pool.
     
  3. bilofsky

    bilofsky Privolting Member

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    It doesn't. Don't use the carpool toll lanes on bridges. You will be charged the discounted fee and be in violation. CHP might stop you if they are present.
     
  4. CharlesH

    CharlesH CA HOV Decal #5 on former PiP

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    I read the referenced section of the CVC, and it does indeed seem to exclude the green decals from being valid on the Bay Area bridges. It does so by mentioning the sections that qualify, rather than calling out the ones that don't qualify, so it is not clear if this omission was deliberate, but nonetheless, it seems that only the white decals (alternate fuel only) qualify. The code is written in convoluted lawyer-talk with references to terms defined in other sections of the code, with thus and so section overriding thus and so section, and section so and so not applying to roads defined under section so and so. Thus it is difficult to tell what they are talking about. Seems like a nice scam to raise revenue: make the rules so complex that only a lawyer can can sort it, so they can collect the $300 or so citations if you misread it. Why else would they not simply make it so that if a car qualifies for an HOV decal, that it would be equivalent to having the required number of people in the vehicle? :mad:

    When the yellow decals were in effect a few years ago, the situation came up locally that that you could get a ticket for driving solo with the yellow decal in carpools lanes on county-owned expressways in the Bay Area, since the CVC related to the yellow decals only mentioned carpool lanes on state and federal highways. It was your responsibility to know how the road you were on was funded. I think that that was ultimately corrected as an unintended oversight.
     
  5. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    Interesting use of the language....
    "I thought I was always a carpool..."

    I'm thinking that the word "carpool" outside urban areas meant:
    car·pool

       [kahr-pool] Show IPA
    noun Also, car pool .
    1. Also, car·pool·ing, car pooling. an arrangement among a group of automobile owners by which each owner in turn drives the others or their children to and from a designated place.
    2. those included in such an arrangement.
     
  6. bilofsky

    bilofsky Privolting Member

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    I don't know how it is on the Redneck Riviera, but here in California, where all things are possible, one person with the right karma (and the right kar) can be a carpool. ;)

    "When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less ... The question is which is to be master — that's all."​
     
  7. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    Fair enough!
    I guess I'm just one of those envious folks that wish that they had enough money to have the "right kind of karma."

    As you pointed out:
    I'm not a resident of SOCAL.
    I don't frequent roads with carpool lanes.
    So....I guess I don't really have a 'right' to pick on folks who are dismayed at having to pay the same tolls as unwashed philistines like me who have to resort to driving a (*gasp!*) "regular Prius."
    However (comma!) you will have to excuse me if I don't share your outrage at this travesty of justice. ;)
     
  8. CharlesH

    CharlesH CA HOV Decal #5 on former PiP

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    It's the lack of consistency that bugs me.
    If they had said that "a carpool is N people, end of discussion", I could deal with that. Even if they said "pure alternative fuel cars will be treated as carpools; no hybrids", I could deal with that. But as it is, you need to be a lawyer perusing the traffic code, along with knowing with the technical funding category of a particular road, to determine if a particular car with a particular HOV decal is eligible for solo privileges in a particular carpool/HOV lane. There is absolutely no indication from the signage on the road to let you know. You will see things like "carpool is 2+" or "toll is $1.25" or "Fastrak required", but no indication about clean-air decals.
     
  9. bilofsky

    bilofsky Privolting Member

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    Me too.

    I'm not outraged, but if I were, it'd be at the complexity of the rules. Period.
     
  10. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

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    I'm actually pretty angry about this. The green stickers are an incentive, and Californians spent large sums of money in good faith that "Carpool lane sticker" meant exactly that, and exactly what it meant for other carpool lane stickers. The State is reneging on its deal.
     
  11. Brentley

    Brentley Junior Member

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    Are you sure that you cannot use the lane at all? Or is the issue that you have to pay toll?
     
  12. calbear

    calbear Member

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    What's also confusing is there is a sign leading to the Dumbarton Bridge toll lane that specifically says "DMV Clean Air Stickers OK" or something like that... point being, it doesn't specify white or green. And no material we've ever been sent said we can't us the stickers through the bridges... it just said to use the fasttrak and you pay $2.50 toll. So I wonder if one hand doesn't know what the other is doing. I would certainly argue with a police officer if pulled over that this policy was "news" to me, since everything I've received to date has been pretty much identical to the yellow sticker program, and that was the deal back then too... use fasttrak and pay half the toll.

    Meanwhile, does this also mean that we're not allowed to use the HOV lane that leads up to the toll? There's certainly nothing that would indicate that, particularly given the sign at the entrance... and yet, once we're in that lane, it's striped for not getting out, so how then would we avoid the toll at the end?!?!?!?
     
  13. CharlesH

    CharlesH CA HOV Decal #5 on former PiP

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    I have seen that sign too....

    But I can hear the traffic judge say "ignorance of the law is no excuse". It's your responsibility to obey the law, even if doing so requires a law degree and knowledge of highway funding legislation. :rolleyes::rolleyes:
     
  14. calbear

    calbear Member

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    I hear you, but if the sign specifically allows us, then I should say it's on them. Go fix the sign.

    Using the wonders of online mapping street view, here's exactly what the sign says, "Vehicles with DMV Clean Air Decal OK" and then below it, "Fastrak Required, Bridge Toll $2.50."

    Looks pretty clear to me...
     
  15. CharlesH

    CharlesH CA HOV Decal #5 on former PiP

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    Traffic judge: "That sign refers to the expired yellow Clean Air decals. Guilty, under Section 5205.5 of the California Vehicle Code. Please pay the clerk."

    :whistle:

    (Actually, I am not just being difficult; I actually ran into this situation in small claims court on a non-traffic issue related to a contractor not paying a vendor and the vendor coming after me, even though the vendor had not filed a "mechanic's lien".)
     
  16. calbear

    calbear Member

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    Not sure about lien stuff, but using a vehicular example, if I park for 1.5 hours in front of a sign that says "2 hour parking" but the city recently enacted a new rule limiting all free parking to 1 hour, do you think it would be reasonable for me to get a ticket? Doesn't the city have a duty to replace the sign first? I think I would have a case to get it dismissed.

    Similarly, I think the state has to change that sign by the bridge before trying to enforce a policy that contradicts it. Our green stickers are "DMV Clean Air Decals" and the sign doesn't specify the color...

    Meanwhile, going through every related link coming off of Eligible Vehicles - Single Occupant Carpool Lane Use Stickers the only reference I found to bridge tolls had to do with the yellow stickers (http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d03/vc5205_5.htm) ...and it specifically says the section of code expired 1/1/2011 (though we know it was extended to 6/30/11). Remember that back then, we had special FasTrak tags, so they did know whether the car was a stickered car or not... Meanwhile, the new code (
    V C Section 21655.9 HOV Lanes Use By Ultra Low Emission Vehicles
    ) makes no mention at all of bridges...
     
  17. CharlesH

    CharlesH CA HOV Decal #5 on former PiP

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    Hmm... you are saying that the section of the Vehicle Code (5205.5) quoted to the OP to support the claim that green stickers are not valid on bridges is a reference to the (expired) yellow stickers, per the note at the bottom stating that this whole section is repealed. :)
     
  18. calbear

    calbear Member

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    Yeah, that's what I'm thinking... this Caltrans person doesn't know jack... following all of the links the CARB and DMV sites have on the stickers programs, the only thing that talks about bridge tolls at all is the code related to the old Yellow stickers... The new code re green stickers says nothing about bridge tolls. I feel 100%, nay 1000% confident to keep driving through the carpool lanes for the bridges, as long as my fastrak is working. I say that because I put the transponder in the mylar bag for free access to the 680 and 237 toll roads.